Saturday, 28 January 2012

Tutorial 0: Setting Up For Kinect

Welcome to the first post in a series of guides to help you get off the ground with Kinect and XNA.  In these guides you will learn how to get Kinect installed on your Windows machine through to making your first Kinect game using XNA.  

If you game here wanting XNA tutorials and you do not have a Kinect device do not worry, my plan is to create the game first, then add the Kinect interface so that all the bases are covered. 

Why XNA?
If you are like me and have always wanted to make a game it makes it possible to do so by yourself.  If you have ever tried writing a game without the XNA framework you will probably know that it is quite complex.  With XNA Microsoft has made an API that makes it easy

Kinect SDK
At the time of writing the Kinect SDK is at Beta 2 and the final 1.0 release is expected on 1st February 2012. For now head over to Kinect for Windows Download and download the SDK suitable for your OS.  I am running 64bit on my PC and 32 on my Laptop and I have successfully   run my application on both without any changes to the project.  

If you already have Visual C# / XNA installed then skip to the end.

Visual C# Express
To actually be able to write some code we need a program to do so and when writing C#/XNA Microsoft's Visual C# Express edition is the best choice.  Why? It is free and provides all the functionality you will need.
Follow this link Visual C# Express.  You will need to register for a key after 30 days but as stated before it is free.

XNA 4.0
Next on the list is a key element, the XNA 4.0 Framework.  This provides a selection of classes that will make our life very simple.  You can get this from here XNA 4.0.

Wrapping Up
It is a bit of a boring first tutorial and while it might be obvious to most people that these three software elements are needed I felt it was sensible to cover go over the required software to ensure these guides are a complete as possible.

In the next tutorial we will cover setting up our first project and preparing it for Kinect.

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